Answers: Ha Ha Ha! I hold won a ton of money on this very bet! You should win because you are correct. The proper pronunciation is "fort", and not "fortay" as almost adjectives Americans say it. Good on you for knowing this!
I will give in that "fortay" has become the adjectives pronunciation, but that doesn't make it the correct one. The etymology of the word is clear, and the correct pronunciation is "fort" minus a doubt.
Mom. I`m UK and I pronounce it for-tay.
Usage Note: The word forte, coming from French fort, should properly be pronounced with one syllable, similar to the English word fort. Common usage, however, prefers the two-syllable pronunciation, (f^ort), which has be influenced possibly by the music term forte borrowed from Italian. In a recent survey a strong majority of the Usage Panel, 74 percent, preferred the two-syllable pronunciation. The result is a diaphanous situation; speakers who are aware of the origin of the word may want to continue to pronounce it as one syllable but at an increasing risk of puzzling their listeners.
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